Leading international non-profit organisation Family Business Network Adria officially announced its presence today in Serbia and the region. It was founded in 1989 with its head office in Lausanne, bringing together 16,000 members from more than 4,000 families across the world.
Speaking at the event, Alexis du Roy de Blicquy, CEO of FBN International, expressed his satisfaction with the network’s arrival in the Serbian and regional markets, noting that for nearly thirty years, FBN Adria has been providing active support to family businesses, offering them a safe space to learn, share information, experiences, best practices, and innovative ideas that contribute to successful management of family business across generations. “Our partnership with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia is of great importance for the implementing our company’s activities. We believe that the sharing of information and experiences with companies in same or similar business around the world will motivate family businesses in Serbia and serve as a tool for further advancement,” he said.
President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia Marko Čadež pointed out that with the CCIS and FBN Adria’s joint efforts would contribute to the growing of family business in Serbia. “If we consider that around 80% of businesses in Serbia are family-owned, it’s clear that this fusion is of strategic importance for the development and stability of all economic systems. By actively working in this area, we want to support all those who in any way take part in running family businesses and draw the general public’s attention to their significance,” Čadež said.
“No business is operated with more passion and enthusiasm than family-owned ones. Being aware of the fact that you’re working for yourself and future generations is a unique source of strength. With all the advantages offered by family business, its launching and growing can be and often is difficult, but at the end of every day, you inevitably feel immense personal satisfaction. It’s not rare that one’s family business is continued by children or grandchildren. The transfer of business management knowledge can have — in addition to educational — also emotional value because the family is connected deeper in an entirely new way. The Family Business Network will provide additional support to family businesses in the region in growing further,” said Davor Jakulin, President of the FBN Adria Association.
The panel — where Davor Jakulin and Marko Čadež were joined by President of NLB’s Management Board Blaž Brodnjak and President of MK Group Miodrag Kostić — focused on strengthening family businesses in the region aimed at achieving international competitiveness and transferring knowledge and experience to the coming generations.
“Quality management, clear strategy, and vision are the foundation for any company’s growth. Knowledge, ambitions, and affinities of the next generation are what companies build on. The biggest challenge in ownership transfer is identifying which heir can lead the company or be a director, manager, or expert in a particular field. NLB has been a long-standing advocate of family entrepreneurship. We are intensely developing support systems for the idea of family entrepreneurship, introducing our clients with different examples from the region in order to strengthen their knowledge and experience,” said Blaž Brodnjak, President of NLB’s Management Board.
“My opinion is that family businesses are the most resilient and sustainable part of the Serbian economy, which produces a large share of added value — especially considering their size. Young people in Serbia must be encouraged into entrepreneurship and look up to successful examples from real life,” said Miodrag Kostić, President of MK Group, which has been successfully operating for 35 years and which is also present in Slovenia, Croatia, and Montenegro, in addition to Serbia.
The fact that only one-third of ownership transfer from one generation to the next succeeds was what prompted FBN to embark on the mission of empowering family heritage. This resulted in the unique NextGen programme, which brings together more than 6,400 young family-business owners across 65 countries, providing them with an opportunity to learn from leading experts and entrepreneurs from around the world, meet NextGen peers, share experiences, build their own network, and gain leadership experience in order to boost business results.
What makes the Family Business Network unique:
A non-profit organisation
Involves family members across generations
Supports the next generation (18–40 years of age) of families that own businesses
Shares best practices and know-how within a global network both globally and locally
Encourages intimate exchange and inspiring peer learning
Sponsors added value research
Promotes the case for family business towards a sustainable future